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tv   Washington Journal Sam Brodey Vivian Salama  CSPAN  April 8, 2019 9:27pm-10:25pm EDT

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about the mother reports and his summary. watch live coverage tuesday morning, beginning at 9:30 eastern on c-span3. and later, secretary of state mike pompeo goes before the senate appropriations subcommittee on the presidents 2020 budget for the state department at 2:30 p.m. eastern and c-span3 and both hearings available at www.c-span.org or on the free c-span radio app. week, when congress is in session, week ahead. -- we like to take a look at the week ahead. joining us to cover both ends of pennsylvania avenue, we are joined by vivian salama, white house reporter for the wall street journal. sam brodey, congressional reporter for the daily beast. the lead story in the wall street journal today is about secretary nielsen's departure as secretary of homeland security. is your byline on that piece, and you are actually traveling with the president and the secretary to california on friday. was there any tip this was
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coming? we have been expecting this for months, and yet secretary nielsen was somewhat of a survivor of this administration. she has gone through quite a roller coaster, managing to win over the president's confidence. she was in a good position but i will tell you that in the last couple of days and especially when the president started to ramp up rhetoric about immigration and trying to close the border, other sources around town started to reach out to me, saying are you hearing anything about her future. the rumors start to percolate again. i remember reaching out to a source that was close to the secretary and asking what is the status and that person said not this again. that was just a week ago, and then here we were.
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she was with him on the border . everything seemed to be ok but the president's frustration was definitely an indication that something was awry. >> you note in your story that resigning was not the intended purpose of the meeting she went into. dir. hayes: the sources -- vivian: the sources i spoke to was that she went to talk about immigration and personnel issues, specifically because of the fallout they withdrawal the nomination of the top candidate for ice, who the secretary was blindsided by the president's decision to withdraw him from consideration. it was a very white house- centric decision. she was very frustrated when she went in, but the purpose of the meeting was to talk about personnel and immigration. although my sources told me, when she went in there resigning , was possibly an option for her. sam brodey,the --
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today is a day of reaction on capitol hill. what is the most interesting congressional reaction you have seen? sam: nielsen occupied an interesting place on the hill and obviously democrats made no secret of their feelings about her and her policies and went after her very aggressively in hearings. among republicans she had defenders but those aligned with the president shared their frustration that they were not doing enough at the border, so ron johnson from wisconsin noted in his statement last night about nielsen's resignation, did not mention about her 10 year, -- tenure did not thank her for , her service, and we hope that going forward we will have a dhs that is responsive and handles the situation at the border. and you know, that diverged from majority leader mcconnell , who thanked her for her service and said he looks forward to confirming the next secretary.
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that highlighted a little bit of the schism and foreshadows the possibly very bruising confirmation process. >> do we have any sense of timing on that, for the president's next pick for dhs? dir. hayes: -- vivian: not at this time. we are hearing that he might not even want the position. it is unclear if he is going to go through and be nominated officially, what is going to happen next if there is anyone. , that was one of the problems going into this where the president had been considering possibly removing kiersten nielsen from her post but there were no deputies in the position. they did not have that structure at dhs where they had potential candidates to take over, and that was one of the things we have been seeing now where even those who are enacting positions right now are not necessarily the long-term picks for these positions. >> what are your thoughts on the
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names being floated around? kris kobach has come up, rick perry. are you hearing that as well? vivian: a number of names we are hearing as well, but it is too early to tell at this point and with this president, it is usually the last person that catches his ear that ends up winning the nomination. i have learned in my 2.5 years in covering this president to never make predictions, but those are definitely serious names being floated. >> a busy start to an already busy week in washington. you can join in in this segment. phone lines as usual, republicans, (202)-748-8001. democrats, (202)-748-8000. independents, (202)-748-8002. sam, let's go to another. attorney general william barr will be on capitol hill tomorrow. where and why? sam: he will be appearing before senate and house appropriators
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in charge of the budget for the department of justice. this is the annual event in which cabinet officials come forward to talk about their budgets. i think lawmakers from both sides are going to be interested in a lot more than the dod budget this week when attorney general barr comes up sometime soon this month. he is supposed to release a redacted version of special counsel robert mueller's report. there has been controversy on the hill about the extent of the information in that redacted report. the democrats house judiciary committee chair and focus on -- chairman, jerry nadler, and folks on that committee are worried it is going to be heavily redacted and not have information they believe the public should have access to. democrats are going to be asking barr about that process. some of the folks i talked to on the hill are skeptical that bar will reveal anything, especially considering a release of some version of this report is coming very soon.
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>> on that point, what at the white house is being said about this hearing? vivian: i asked the president when we were at the border on friday if he is going to give the attorney general any guidance ahead of his testimony and he said i don't know and then went into a long speech about how much he likes barr and has confidence he is a good man, so i think the president has not gotten that far and would prefer him to not stray too far from that document. so we will see what happens. >> how is the president's relationship with secretary of state, mike pompeo? vivian: great. if anyone has done great navigating the unique atmosphere in washington, it has been secretary pompeo. he has not had it easy because he has been handed the north korea portfolio and there are a lot of frustrations on the hill, especially with north korea because lawmakers have not been briefed about the extent to
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which this administration is engaging with north korea and where those negotiations are going. when secretary pompeo faces his own testimony, his own hearings, he will get questions about what is going on behind the scenes. they have definitely kept it close to their chest. >> sam brodey, on pompeo's appearance on capitol hill this week. a stage set or for that is he appeared in-house last month and faced heat from both democrats and republicans about president trump's proposed cuts to the department of state. democrats believe that in the words of some over there, dereliction of diplomacy and they invoked former secretary jim mattis, who said if you spend less on the state department, he would have to spend more on weapons. i think we can expect some of the bipartisan skepticism in the
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senate. you have a couple of republicans , mitt romney, marco rubio, who are representative of republican foreign policy pre-trump. they want to see a muscular american presence, not just in the realm of the military and they would like to see the department of state have a bigger budget than the president is proposing. we will see skepticism from republicans and some tough words from democrats. >> a very busy week on capitol hill. remind us where we are in terms of the president's tax returns. sam: chairman richard neal is requesting not only the president's tax returns from 2013 to 2018 but is also
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requesting federal income tax returns for the president's personal trusts and businesses including his golf courses. that request has been sent to the irs, setting up a battle that people have been talking about for years, possibly a back and forth between the irs and lawmakers. secretary mnuchin has indicated he is not exactly excited about this prospect and does not believe he needs to do it. mick mulvaney says this has already been litigated. we talked about this during the election. the voters chose trump anyway. they clearly do not want to see his tax returns. >> mick mulvaney going on fox news on sunday to weigh in on this topic. [video clip] >> they knew they were not going to get these taxes. they know what the law is in one -- and that one of the fundamental principles of the irs is to protect the confidentiality of you and me and everyone else who files taxes. they know that. they know the terms under which the irs can give them the documents, but political hitch up is not one of those reasons.
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>> to be clear, you believe the democrats will never see the president's tax returns. >> never, and nor should they. keep in mind, that is an issue that was already litigated during the election. voters knew the president could have given his tax returns. they knew that he didn't. and they elected him anyway. which of course is what drives the democrats crazy. they know they are not going to get it. they just want the attention on the issue because they don't want to talk to us about policy. >> he has argued he is under audit but even under audit, you could allow people to see you. >> you could always allow people to see it, but that is not what is happening. democrats are demanding the irs turn over the documents and that is not going to happen and they know it. this is a political stunt. >> vivian salama, "never" was a term used, a strong word in politics. sam: -- vivian: that is quite a gamble. you would think he would take a more diplomatic approach but he is certainly taking a gamble in backing the president on this
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, and obviously, the president has maintained this line of being under audit. we asked him again on friday at the border, and he said i told them where i stand on this issue and if they can't deal with that, that is their problem. basically. they maintain this whole thing is a politically promoted. >> -- politically motivated. >> vivian salama, a white house reporter with the wall street journal and sam brodey with the daily beast joining us for this week ahead in washington segment. the phone lines are open for what you want to talk about. john is up from new york city, line for democrats. good morning. good morning. thank you for taking my call. there is an important deadline -- headline in the news these days which is not only scary but unwise and that is the decision that the trauma administration wants to make. it wants to recognize the iran 's revolutionary guard as a terrorist group.
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it would increase risks for u.s. troops without doing much more to damage the iranian economy. not to mention the fact that it will further alienate iranians. and there is even risk that iranians would retaliate with declaring the u.s. military as a terrorist organization. we are going towards a third world war. your comments please. john in new york brings up the wall street journal. vivian: this is an issue i have known for a while. i was a middle east correspondent for 12 years. it is something i covered closely. this administration made it clear they will continue cracking down on iran. and one of the options in their treasure chest is cracking down on the irgc, declaring it a terrorist organization. we have been briefed the last couple of days that the white house, he essentially what they are trying to do is clamp down
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on maintain pressure on the regime itself in tehran while still letting the people of iran know they are here to support them if they need humanitarian assistance. for example, the u.s. would be willing to provide that if there were some assurances that that money would not go to the coffers of the regime and things like that. this administration is not going to let up on the pressure on iran. they think iran is the source of much of the destabilization in the middle east, especially syria. iran has been very centric right now as far as the middle east policy. and in syria specifically. unfortunately, for whatever you want to look at it, that seems to be the course of action at this point. whether or not you agree with it, obviously that is where this , administration wants to go. >> sam brodey, how much can we expect congress to weigh in on this? sam: probably not significantly. certainly, you know, there is a lot of foreign policy concerns that will take precedence.
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for example when secretary , pompeo comes to the hill, north korea was mentioned. now, it isfor something that is mostly on the administration. host: international falls, minnesota. brad is a republican. good morning. caller: good morning. we started out this morning with releasing of the nielsen and we are talking about illegal aliens, so the question i have for both of them, and john, do not let them filibuster this either. here's the question. how many sex traffickers and children that don't belong to these parents that are illegals coming in should we allow the american people to let in? host: that is brad in minnesota. i don't know if you have stats in front of you on border arrests and that sort of thing , but how would you respond? vivian: the president has maintained that a number of people that are traveling within these caravans are either sex
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offenders or he has used the word rapists at times or other criminal activity. i do not have the stats in front of me. it is hard to say. but there are a number of people who are innocent and are just fleeing violence or economic turmoil in their countries. i understand your position on this and the president certainly agrees. there is a mixed bag and unfortunately, without the statistics in front of me, it is hard to comment. host: sam brodey, would you want to weigh in? sam: no i would not add much , more than that. host: our next caller is from kentucky, independent. caller: i heard someone mention the president's tax returns. that seems to be a question that seems to be a cloud over him and i think it is going to continue to be a cloud over him until he resolves it. you know, the way i look at it is this.
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if he is so innocent, as he proclaims to be, why does he keep throwing a monkeywrench into the process? you know, a normal person, meaning a psychologically healthy individual, would want the investigation to proceed forward so that the truth could speak for itself, thus exonerating them. he does not do this and there is a reason for that. as far as something else that was said about terrorism, just a moment ago, that young woman just mentioned -- vivian, i believe was her name -- another thing we are not talking about here is his policies on eradicating terrorism or he does does not have a policy, frankly. as policy -- he talks about making america great again. how do you make america great again when you have domestic terrorism on the rise and what i mean by that is white nationalism. you know, all of these nazi
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groups, they are on the rise. a congresswoman from minnesota recently just got a death threat and it is like he fans the flames of this. he does. i am not saying he is responsible for say, but he does, as president he sets the , tone. sam: i think on that second point, that is probably music to the ears of a lot of democrats on capitol hill who are trying to draw attention to the issue of homegrown extremism here in the united states. at the daily beast, they reported that the department of homeland security eliminated a unit that was meant to gather intelligence on homegrown domestic terrorists, white nationalists, and far right extremists. we are going to be seeing hearings on this coming up on the hill. the security committee led by democrats, trying to make this a focal point to talk about the spread of violence content on
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the internet, for example, after the new zealand mosque shooting. i think attorney general barr will be asked about that at the house this week because that is an area of doj jurisdiction. host: on the issue of tax returns, president trump up and retweeting this morning a tweet from c-span about congressman jim jordan of ohio on hours our newsmakers program saying there is no law saying the president's tax returns have to be public. vivian salama, the president has said for a while that they cannot be made public because they are under audit. can you explain why? why it the question of has taken as long as it has is a question a lot of people have. essentially, the president says he is a very wealthy individual . he has a lot of businesses, properties, and assets. so essentially for the review a , routine review of his finances, that is something that
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everybody goes through and it just so happened he happened to be going through it in 2016 while he was running for election and that audit in 2019 is still underway according to the president. obviously, a lot of his critics don't believe that and believe he is trying to conceal whatever may be in his tax returns. it is speculation, obviously. until we have those tax returns, we don't know. host: when the irs is asked about this audit, what do they say? vivian: the irs has not commented. at this point, it is up for debate whether or not there is an actual audit and why it has taken so long. a lot of questions and i know a lot of reporters have worked to to see if they could get those tax returns because of the worry constantly raised by democrats and by the public about if there is anything that might be hidden in there.
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we want to remind viewers that releasing tax returns was basic protocol for candidates leading up to this election. he really sort of strayed from that and because he has strayed from that, the question of whether any of the candidates running for 2020 are going to release tax returns continues to be an issue. host: about halfway through our we can ahead in washington roundtable. if you want to join the discussion, republicans, (202)-748-8001. democrats, (202)-748-8000. independents, (202)-748-8002. get your calls in just a vivian second. salama, you mentioned reporters working on part of the travel pool following the president on this trip to the southern border. can you explain how the white house travel pool works? vivian: that day was pretty epic. it was a 19-hour day for the travel pool which is not customary. so essentially the travel pool , travels with the president. we have about 11 reporters on a standard trip. we will go on air force one with him from wherever he is going.
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we will travel with his motorcade, and essentially, our job is to follow the news of the president to ensure he is getting from point a to point b, document any conversations he may be having, try to ask him questions, and essentially write about what is happening. he can't take the entire press corps with him. it doesn't work that way. so i, as the print pooler, we had a radio pooler and a television pooler, we have to relay everything he says to our colleagues. there are tens of thousands of people i am emailing. >> if they work at other news organizations, they can take your information as if they reported it? that's correct. -- vivian: that's correct. the pooler agrees to share everything they are reporting on and that is something we do through the white house correspondents association. this is a long-standing practice. we do a rotation.
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every day, or in my case, i had it friday and saturday because we were in the road -- on the road, we do a lot of things. i was also the pooler when the president met kim jong-un in february and march. we had an incident where the white house actually prevented a lot of journalists from going to the dinner with kim jong-un. it was a little bit of a scene. i was the only reporter allowed into the room that day after some tension between the white house travel paul and -- travel pool. host: when you are on pool duty, do you need to know where the president is? vivian: it is funny you should ask that. we did not know where we were going on friday night. he is still entitled to have closed sessions or private sessions. on friday, what happened is we started the day at the border. we flew out from joint base andrews at the d.c. metropolitan area. we went to the border. and then we went to los angeles. after that, the president was scheduled to have a fundraiser. we did not know where it was
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taking place. it was at a private residence. we agreed to protect the identity of this person. in thisof held neighborhood where we did not really know where we were. our next stop was on a helicopter to an unknown destination. it was all very mysterious. only thanks to google maps we were able to identify that we were at the president's golf course in los angeles. the white house would not tell us where we were later on. we were literally airlifted on military helicopters to a place where we had no idea where we were. and so sometimes, that happens , as well. it is not ideal, but it does happen. host: on this friday trip, you set some kind of record? vivian: i did apparently. my apologies to the new york times who apparently held the record before me. someone who does account tweeted that there were 27 pool reports. plus two reports. i hit 29 which apparently breaks the previous record of 28.
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host: as you are hearing that on the white house will report, sam brodey, can you give viewers some sense of access you have to congress members? and how it compares when you're trying to do your job on capitol hill? sam: it's incredible. the level of access on capitol hill probably makes it one of the most fun places to report in all of washington. maybe anywhere in the country. you have 535 lawmakers running around doing their business, going from hearings to votes to press conferences and customarily, a reporter is supposed to talk to you. host: is there any place where you cannot ask them a question? sam: not really. we can't go on the house floor or senate floor but aside from that, the press can go most places on the hill. certainly, there is decorum. there's kind of the practice of the shouted question.
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we see white house reporters shall question that the president because that is their opportunity to ask them a question. you see lots of that on the hill because there is so much availability. if you don't get a question to speaker pelosi during a press conference, you might see her on her way to the house floor. it makes it a really fun place to report and also enables us to get a lot of stories and information. host: just about 8:30 on the east coast, talking about a busy week ahead in washington. plenty of callers waiting. jeremy, thanks for waiting. here in d.c., a democrat. caller: good morning, and thank you for taking my call. i really appreciate it. i wanted to bring up an article in the new york times about prisons in alabama. the new york times has it that the conditions of prisons in alabama is terrible. according to the justice department report, it is filled attacks, sexual abuse, violence and contraband.
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,i just wanted to say that american prisons are all about brutality. many people often relish the thought of prisoners delivering rape torture, or death. , we call ourselves a civilized democracy, but the entire system of lengthy incarcerations for minor offenses is a disgrace and a shame and is designed for exploitation of the most vulnerable and poor people, just to feed the greedy judicial law enforcement establishment. i also think building bridges instead of walls is the way to go. host: that is jeremy here in washington, d.c. the new york times editorial board taking on this topic, alabama's cruel and unusual prisons. william barr's justice department faces a test on how it overseas the state's deplorable prison conditions. they put that out on the april 6. attorney general is going to be
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on capitol hill. obviously, the mueller report is likely to be a top topic. do you think this will come up? sam: i think it is likely. this seems like an issue that could be ripe for both republicans and democrats to have tough questions for attorney general barr. you know, i read some of the reporting on this issue in the last few days, and officials at doj here in washington, and officials in alabama, are not disputing this is a significant and horrific problem. it could set up an interesting next stage in the debate about criminal justice reform. last year, congress passed a bipartisan sentencing reform bill. now i think reformers are , looking at the next steps, what are the other areas. there are plenty that need congress to step in and make improvements. host: our next caller is patty, a republican. good morning. caller: good morning.
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first of all, i wanted to let you know, i am latina, american latina from texas. i also am a female. i was a democrat at one time and when trump came in, i was so tired of hearing about the mueller case, about taxes. the democrats have done nothing in the last hundred days with policies to help the american people. you know that is why i switched, , because i did not get into politics and when they told me , when trump came in, i got into it and learned a lot of things i could not believe. host: could i ask you -- you say you are sick of hearing about the mueller probe. are you concerned at all about the cost of the mueller probe after 14 months?
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is that something that concerns you? caller: the mueller probe after instead of the democrats making policies, that is what i learned. they are just always trying to win and find anything on anybody instead of taking care of their own house and making policies. host: we will take your sam point. brodey, on that question about the cost of the mueller probe. you looked into this idea and sort of that level of concern on capitol hill over the cost and how it has changed. sam: in the lead up to the completion of robert mueller's investigation, you saw top republicans raising concerns about the amount of money that had gone into the special counsel. something estimated like $25 million. i followed up with a lot of top republicans after attorney general barr's summary came out and did not find a lot of republicans thought it was a priority to find out how much mueller spent with transparency to be going toward what is going
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to be released to the public in this report since the initial , summary was seen as a pr win for the president. so i doubt that republicans are going to be spending a lot of time getting to the bottom of how much mueller spent, which was in line or less than similar special counsel investigations in the past. the debate is shifting to what is going to be released and what the public is going to see. host: vivian salama, do you expect the president to weigh in on that topic or is he trying to move past the mueller probe? vivian: if i was a betting woman, i would say yes. the president has not had a lot to say about this issue. even though he in the beginning expressed relief that it was over. he felt like he was vindicated by the report but he is angry and he has every reason to be angry, they say, because they call it a witch hunt and believe he was attacked by democrats over this.
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they believe it was an illegitimate investigation, a waste of taxpayer money. and things like that. obviously, in the last couple of days, there has been reporting floating around that perhaps the public should not just take attorney general barr's four-page letter at face value and there may be more to the investigation. we are going to see in the coming days are going to be very telling for the molar -- mueller investigation. we will see whether or not this was just a cloud over this white house that has gone away or if there are more questions to be answered. host: host: our next caller is in baltimore, independent. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am 92, a world war ii veteran and former democrat. i first voted for harry truman. i last voted when i switched because both of the parties
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seemed atrocious. ed atrocious. push for get some independent third-party but i don't hold my hopes too high. what i am concerned with and i would like to ask your guests, a lot of what is in the probe by in fishing and the fbi files for things they could thingsil people to say against or in support of their feelings that have nothing to do with the russian connection. i think for that reason, these should be kept out of the public interest.
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i would like to hear what your reporters have to say about that. host: sam brodey, do you want to start this? sam: there are four areas that govern what could be redacted in the final report that is released. one of those categories is people who are peripheral to the investigation, not explicitly a target of mother's investigation but may have been included in their and -- in their information gathering. they cannotary release too much information about what they looked into and -- because those people beat who were not charged would not have much opportunity to clear their names. there is a robust debate about grand jury material and what could be included but in terms of people who may have been swept up in the investigation, there is probably a strong interest from everyone involved
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to keep those folks private. vivian: there is a series of things that we will be wondering if we will know about. talk of classified information. sam said about the grand jury material which we do not have access to. also this issue of executive privilege, whether or not they were any conversations that fall under the category of executive privilege in which case the attorney general may consider rejecting that as well. it is unclear -- redacting that as well. it is unclear how much we will see because there has been some push back from anonymous sources on the molar team that we don't know the full story. host: 15 or 20 minutes left in this week ahead in washington. our guests, vivian salama, wall street journal white house brodey, dailyam
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beast, congressional reporter there. you can give us a call and ask questions you are interested in. jeff in montgomery, alabama, democrat. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have a comment. the situation with these alabama prisons does not surprise me in the least. our incarceration rates are mind-boggling and slavery was never abolished, only shifted to prison populations that are funneling in, overly black. nice job america. are a conflation of the way we treat people as a whole.
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those people suffering in those prisons are our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers. your response please. host: anything more you wanted to add on that story? vivian: the administration seems genuinely committed to tackling the issue of criminal justice interesting --s interestingly one of the areas where they have gotten bipartisan support. i don't know what the outcome will be, whether or not the long-term effects will improve. i cannot read the future. certainly it is something being talked about a lot at the white house and getting a lot of support on capitol hill. we started by talking about the secretary of homeland security resigning yesterday. tell us more about kevin micah linton and what you have done on him. vivian: he was actually on the
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plane with us when we were traveling to the border on friday. obviously someone who has the confidence of the president moving forward, someone who has been very influential and involved in the current border and whether or not he ends up being the right person for the job, it remains to be seen. i remember someone saying he would prefer to keep a low profile role. he has a huge challenge with the current crisis. patrol has been stretched very thin with this border crisis that the president has been talking about weeks and a lot of people since it is a lose-lose situation for everyone at this point. obviously the president has a very particular view about what should be happening at the border.
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some say it is not very realistic. gowill see if he decides to for the role of full-time, if he is nominated even. host: c-span pointed out on twitter this morning, kevin mcaleenan was before congress back on december 18 of last year . here is a bit of what he had to say at that hearing. [video clip] >> the inability to keep families together while they instead proceedings, crossing with a child is a near guarantee of a speedy release. these deficiencies ensure a high likelihood of success and the trends they invite have significant ramifications. our infrastructure is incompatible with this reality. our ports of entry were built to handle mostly male single adults in custody, not families or children. illegal crossings have a different carrier -- character
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families coming across in large groups and simply presenting themselves to border patrol agent's. times to are choosing allow single adults seeking to evade capture to sneak in. the smugglers convict horrible violence on some of the most vulnerable people in our hemisphere. these trends mean that regardless of whether an individual has a valid case for protection or asylum, they are increasingly unlikely to be repatriated. only 1.5 percent of families from central america apprehended in 17 have been removed to their countries of origin despite the fact that most will not end up having valid claims to remain in the u.s. when court proceedings conclude. that presumption that our system will allow them to stay indefinitely is the driving factor for those making the journey to our border. along with important push factors which include
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challenging conditions in many parts of central america, this incentivizes them to put their lives in the hands of dangerous smugglers. the cost of these pull and push intors is seen every day lives lost on the journey. clearly both a border security and humanitarian crisis. host: if you want to wants that hearing in its entirety, you can do so at c-span.org. you can see that full hearing. sam brodey, your thoughts on how congress will be dealing with mcaleenan as he steps into this acting role. sam: it will be a continuation of this lose-lose situation that secretary nielsen had found put af in, trying to public face to the position,tion's
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making the argument that it is -- that it is a humanitarian crisis, demanding more resources. secretary nielsen in her resignation letter basically said she did not get enough support from congress and that she hopes the next dhs secretary get support from congress to complete the mission. that is a shot across the bow. that will set up an interesting debate and dialogue between lawmakers and whoever is the next secretary about what demanding role is in accountability and asking questions but also the money that dhs requires, particularly because democrats would not like to see another dollar go to dhs. we saw that push by progressives during the shutdown. there is going to be a lot to
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talk about. sam: something to keep -- vivian: something to keep in mind going forward. when the white house decided to withdraw the nomination of the candidate for the immigration and customs enforcement, the white house is increasingly monopolizing power over the immigration portfolio. you have a couple hardliners within the administration who believe very strongly in cracking down on immigration, even goinghe laws, so far as to close the border. the department of homeland security has been out of the loop on many of these issues and going forward, it is going to be interesting to see if the white house increasingly takes over the decision-making process and how much the dhs is looped into that process. host: in one way of doing that is appointing an immigration czar. be, and wecould
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already had a de facto immigration czar in stephen miller. he has been very influential. i snapped a photo of him standing beside the roundtable discussion. kushner, the president's son-in-law who is going to be taking an increasingly active role on immigration. you see the white house getting increasingly involved. kelly, kristen -- kiersten nielsen's predecessor. as note -- as nielsen fell out of favor with the white house, the white house started to keep a closer hold on so many of those decisions. host: what was secretary nielsen's relationship like with stephen miller? vivian: quite contentious. not only with stephen miller but
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with john bolton. john bolton and john kelly had a falling out -- falling out over nielsen several months ago. it was reported there was a shouting match at the white house. andas over immigration specifically secretary nielsen's handling of the crisis. that never really went away after john kelly left his position. miller,ton and stephen now very much controlling and calling the shots on the immigration portfolio and they are right next to the president. it will be interesting to see moving forward how much influence that will have. host: greg is a democrat from virginia. caller: good morning. i am a democrat. i am trying to stay a democrat because of environmental concerns but i have to say as i watch to see what democrats are doing. i used to live in south texas. of 20 years ago
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and it is a crisis now. there is nothing wrong with the people coming in, it is the fact that they don't assimilate into american culture the way that immigrants use to. host: can you define what you think assimilation should include? caller: assimilation should include a basic understanding of what it means to be a citizen of the united states, a basic understanding of how our government works and a basic understanding of the constitution, so that they can understand that they are in a country unlike any other on the planet and those things are worth protecting. months ago on this program, we talked about a study that showed that most americans would fail a basic citizenship test. it was a state-by-state study of thousands of people that were
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asked citizenship test questions and most of them received a failing grade of 60% or less. what do you think? that is an unfortunate fact and has to deal with how our education system has been failing us. that does not mean we don't try to make sure people entering this country know it, regardless of whether the indigenous folks do or not. well,uld focus on that as but that is a whole different discussion. like watching the democrats with this mother report and all of this stuff, i am not a trump fan, but i have mother report fatigue and i feel like every time i turn around, the democrats want to change the rules. they want to get rid of the electoral college and pack the supreme court.
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it sounds like they want to change the rules every time they lose. host: this is coleman in tulsa, oklahoma, a republican. caller: good morning. that wet interesting have had two years of investigations and it turned out to be fake news. that has beenanda put out to the public about how trump colluded with the russians has been proven fake. i ask your reporters, aren't you curious as to how all this came about? we have been talking about the report and my greatest concern treason was an act of by officials in power and there is no discussion on that. how did all of this come about?
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clear, youso i am don't understand how the special counsel's investigation was started? caller: yes. policy that the fbi agent talked about. host: sam brodey? the investigation -- it is important to note that we don't know a lot about what is in this report. i don't think either of our organizations were claiming definitively that the president colluded to a criminal degree with russia. you would find most reporters and news organizations said this was an investigation at the highest levels of the federal government. we followed it and reported it and are continuing to do so as we learn more about what robert mueller produced.
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i think vivian can speak better to this than i can. host: are there still calls for a second special counsel to probe the obama administration? sam: certainly lindsey graham has been saying in the last two weeks that he would like a robert mueller type figure to look into whether there was any between the clinton campaign and the fbi in order to tip the scales against president trump. you are finding republicans on the hill continue to make that point. whether that happens we don't know but there are calls for another investigation into how this investigation began. host: vivian salama? vivian: the president reference that a lot of this was fake news as the caller mentioned and that he is vindicated by a lot of this. we don't know.
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we don't have the report. i understand your point about mother fatigue -- mueller fatigue. i will say that the news organizations would not invest so much time and energy into something that was not important at the very least. factave to consider the that you have the person holding the highest office in the people, and the american and a number of people wanted an explanation as to why he was meeting with russians in his trump tower during the campaign. i am not saying that the democrats don't deserve the same level of scrutiny in their meetings but obviously it is important to hold official -- government officials accountable. that is in essence what this is about. it is not as the president likes to call it, a witchhunt. nobody has the time for something like that.
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news organizations are there to get answers. i assure you we are doing it out of genuine integrity to pursue the truth. host: less than five minutes left. we will try to get a few more of your calls. gary in pennsylvania, independent. caller: i just want to know why they are investigating trump so much sense obama left us hanging. i voted for ted nugent for president but first the collusion of rush -- with russia, there was zero evidence. why did they keep investigating it? why don't they look into maxine democrats?all the i bet you they've got so much money, they've got walls around their houses. report whichmother
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i think you were addressing, what do you think about the 34 individuals and three companies that were eventually charged with crimes by the mother investigate -- by the mueller investigative team? he did not catch up with trump. he turned it over. i don't think he should have turned it over to the rest of the world to say he is the only guilty person in the world. if we look into maxine waters and everyone else, we would find the same thing. they are ripping off the country. illinois, is don in democrat. caller: listening to some of these callers on the republican side and some of these fake democrats calling in on the democrat line and say they are democrats but they are really
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republicans, they have their heads in the sand. for the mueller report, let's say they wash it up a little bit for the public to see, protect some people's privacy or whatever, but congress and the house should be able to see the full report to see if he did anything wrong that they could call for impeachment. lost my thought there. host: you gave us enough to go on. we have covered a lot of tonics -- topics. vivian salama, what will you be watching for? vivian: we have the president coming up tomorrow.
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we also have the president of south korea. that will be a very important meeting to keep an eye on because south korea has a lot invested in the president's talks with north korea. that will be interesting. we are still holding our breath to see if the president comes up with a china trade deal. sam brodey, on the other end of pennsylvania avenue. what are you watching? one of the things about attorney general barr's appearances is that the justice department expanded an existing lawsuit against the affordable care act, hoping to strike down the entire law, a renewed health care kerfuffle that sent capitol scrambling. they will want to know from the attorney general why his department made that decision, how it was made and what is going to happen if they are challenge -- if there challenge r challenge if thei
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succeeds. host: sam brodey is a congressional reporter for the daily beast. vivian salama with the wall street journal, white house reporter. announcer: c-span's washington journal, live every day with news on policy issues that impact you. morning, auesday discussion of efforts to obtain president trump's tax returns with university of virginia law school professor of law and taxation, george yen. michigan republican congressman paul mitchell and illinois democratic congressman raja crista moore if you discuss their college transparency act. and we talk about congressional committees with institute senior fellow casey bergen. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern tuesday morning. join the discussion.
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announcer: starting tuesday, the house will debate a bill to restore net neutrality standards in place before the fcc decision last year. members may also consider two-year federal budget setting discretionary spending limits. no votes are expected thursday and friday, as house democrats attend a policy retreat. watch the house here on c-span. the senate will spend much of the week on nominations, republican leader mcconnell filed motions to limit debate on six nominations including john abbott say for u.s. ambassador to saudi arabia. watch the senate on cspan 2. you can see both on c-span.org or listen to congressional debate on c-span's free radio app. [applause] announcer: next, education secretary betsy devos participates in a discussion at the council of chief state school officers.

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